Forgot about those cherry tomatoes in the back of your fridge? And now, they’re sort of shrivelled? Hold up!

According to the New York Times, 1.3 billion tons of food gets thrown away around the world per year. Imagine how many people would struggle a little bit less and how much cleaner the environment could be if we collectively decided to manage our food resources a little better.

Let’s start with these tomatoes. Baby steps. Instead of tossing them into the garbage, let’s toss them into a pan.

This recipe is for a vegan capellini alla checca with zoodles (zucchini noodles) instead of angel hair pasta. What’s great about using smaller tomatoes instead of the traditional heirloom tomatoes is that 1) they inherently have more flavor and 2) they take up flavor faster, allowing you to skip the marinating time.

Before you start, you’ll need a veggie spiralizer to make zoodles (this is one cost effective option). If you don’t want to invest in one, that’s perfectly okay; many grocers now sell spiralized vegetables for your convenience.

Paulina Leang / Daily Nexus

Prep time: 15-20 minutes


Makes 2-3 servings



2 cups of spiralized zucchini/zoodles (two medium-sized zucchinis will yield about two cups)

1 cup of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 sprig of fresh basil

3 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil

4 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Vegan parmesan-style cheese alternative or nutritional yeast flakes





  1. Heat three tablespoons of garlic-infused olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat.
  2. Hover your hand over the pan. If you can feel the heat, add the tomatoes to the pan and let them cook for five minutes.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, add in the apple cider vinegar, two basil leaves and a couple shakes of your parmesan alternative. Simmer for five to seven minutes.
  4. While the tomatoes cook, pat the zoodles dry and season to your liking with salt and pepper. I used Trader Joe’s lemon pepper blend for an extra hint of zest.
  5. Once the tomatoes start to turn tender, turn the heat to medium-high and add the zoodles into the pan. Use tongs to toss the mixture together.
  6. Important: Do not overcook the zoodles. They cook fairly quickly. How long you cook them depends on how al dente you like them. I suggest anywhere between three to five minutes.
  7. Remove from heat. Add the remaining fresh basil.



  1. Add a grilled Italian-style veggie sausage on the side for some protein.
  2. Sprinkle red pepper flakes as a final step if you’re missing the heat.
  3. Instead of garlic-infused olive oil, use classic olive oil and add thinly sliced garlic during step three.
  4. You can also prepare this dish raw, as a salad of sorts. Just add all of the ingredients into a salad bowl and toss. Let sit in the fridge for a few hours for the flavors to mesh together before serving.


This recipe will last two days in the fridge. Maybe longer? Not sure as I’ve never made it that long without finishing the leftovers.

Buon appetito!